ASK about the species and sequencing.
CHAT in a 30 minute text chat with the species champion.
VOTE for a species to be sequenced for the first time ever!
OTTERLY DELIGHTED to be here with you today - please vote for me! I'd be FURRY HAPPY to be sequenced!
Hard to say - maybe around 12,000. Knowing the genome will help us find this out!
Ca. 2.5 Gb
This was so long ago, I don't remember who that ancestor was. My mommy says it was probably a little weasel-like animal that lived more than 80 million years ago.
I should be sequenced because...: Protecting otters, at the top of the food chain, helps us protect the whole freshwater system.
One sentence about me...: I'm a friendly, furry fish-eater - please sequence me to help protect the environment and to keep our waters clean!
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Friendly, furry & fascinating!
What's it like where you live?
I range along rivers, lakes and coastlines - wherever I can dive in to find food.
What's your favourite food?
I mostly eat fish, but I also like frogs, crabs, crayfish and waterbirds - whatever I can get my paws on!
What's your family life like?
I stayed with mum until I was about a year old, but since then, I'm mostly running around alone. I do communicate with my friends and neighbours - via scent marks in my poo! (See above for a link to a recent paper by the Cardiff University Otter Group.)
Are you endangered or threatened by anything?
Otters like clean water - unfortunately, pollutants (like pesticides) get washed into the rivers and can harm our health. Also, some fishermen get rather cross that we are so good at catching fish. As well as that, there are so many cars these days, lots of my friends have been killed on the roads.
What's the best thing about you/interesting fact?
I communicate via poo! Birds sing, humans talk (or use facebook!), I use scent marks in our poo, which is called 'spraint,' to tell other otters where I've been, what I've been eating and who I am.
The champion of this species is...
Cardiff University Otter Group & IUCN/SSC (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Otter Specialist Group